Magic Weekend at Kentwell Hall

Project type: Live Event

Role: Set Decorator

Initial Budget: £500

Main Skills:

  • Set decorating

  • Prop making

  • Prop sourcing

  • 3D Modelling

  • Budgeting

A live event called “Magic Weekend” is held every year at Kentwell Hall, Suffolk. The event is aimed at children and families.

 

The purpose of this project is to change the aesthetics of an existing space to be more appropriate for a magic
themed event.

Existing Space

I began by measuring the existing space and creating a scale 3D CAD model of it.

Concept Sketches

I felt that interesting lighting would be a good way to create an ethereal atmosphere. The contrast between dark and light is also a major theme in many fantasy stories.

 

To maximise the effectiveness of the sights and smells inside the building, I needed to limit the amount of light entering it and contain the smells within it. I also wanted to surprise visitors as they entered which could only be achieved with a closed-front building. I therefore decided to block both entrance arches.

Potential Layouts

I used 3D CAD software to create a variety of potential new layouts, seen below.

Ultimately, I selected Layout 4 (highlighted in yellow). I felt that Designs 2 and 3 were too enclosed. Furthermore, Design 3 would not present a striking vista when entering.


Fire Safety
Using the “CLG guide for Fire Safety Risk Assessment in Small and Medium Places of Assembly under the Regulatory Reform”, I ensured that each design had suitable fire exits.

Budget Alteration

Initially our budget was £500. However, a week before the event, we were told that this money would not be available. Therefore we were not able to create the internal and external walls that I proposed.


However, by using our own money, borrowing props, and a little ingenuity, we were still able to transform the space. The final result can be seen in the images below.

Final Creation